Worth the Risk

This morning as I got up before the early dawn light and before the rest of the family was stirring, all I could think about was the next bold step we are taking in life.  My head and body buzzed with excitement thinking about where our new path will lead us and what we will be doing a year from now.

The funny thing is, last night when I laid in bed and my daughter was crying for me to hold her for the 10th time and one of my sons called out to me to ask me a question, I said to my husband, “Oh my goodness what are we doing leaving for a year and traveling with our kids?”

While last night I thought we were crazy for taking a Gap Year, this morning with a full night’s rest, I realized that we would be crazy if we did’t take the Gap Year.

This morning I know that life is full of adventure.  This morning I know that life is about experiencing new things.  This morning I know that life is about breaking the mold.

Ok, time for a little background…

Starting in May, our family is taking a “Gap Year” to step away from our “normal” busy, hectic, comfortable and stable lives to travel the US, hiking national parks and visiting sites, rejuvenate on a family farm and travel to Australia.

We are taking a year to be adventurous, to take some risks and see what is out there.

We are taking a year to do all those things that we have talked about for years.

We are taking a year to slow down and do the things that really matter.

We are taking a year to follow our hearts and see where it leads us.

And we aren’t doing it alone, we are taking our 3 kids with us -twin 11 year olds and a 17 month old.


While you might think we are crazy (and believe me I did last night for a few moments), I know that this decision, even though it wasn’t easy to make, is the best decision we have ever made.

Sure, it might be risky, sure it might be a little wild at times, but never do I doubt that we will grow from it individually and as a family.

As my husband and I started telling people about our Gap Year, one thing struck me – the words people used.

Courageous. Brave. Bold.

98% of the people responded this way and it got me thinking…

I think we are all wired for adventure.  I think that we are all wired for seeking new things.  I think that most of us want adventure.

Only one thing holds us back from taking a risk.  Fear.

Fear can be immobilizing.  Fear can be detrimental, yet so many get gripped by it.  Our media loves to capitalize on it.  Our movies glorify it.

Fear verses adventure has become the norm.

We’ve been told to settle down and be responsible.

Well, I say let’s break the norm.  Let’s make a new norm.

Let’s embrace new.  Let’s take a few risks.  Let’s seek adventure.  Let’s follow our hearts.

What if being responsible, meant being responsible to your heart?  Being responsible to your dreams?

Seriously?  What if?????

As far as I see it, there are two paths in life.  Fear and love.  We can choose either.  Where our life leads depends upon what we choose.  For our choices determine our path.

To quote Yoda.  “Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger.  Anger leads to hate.  Hate leads to suffering.”

Choosing love means that you choose actions and things that make you and others feel good.  Actions that create beauty, actions that create more joy in the world.

The choice is yours.

I know what choice I am making.








p.s. Thanks for sharing this post, as you share you inspire others to nourish their soul~

About The Author

Summer Brackhan

Mom, sociologist, teacher, author, musician, world traveler, parenting and health coach who believes healthy living incorporates body, mind and soul and that life is not about living in little boxes, but experiencing everything at its fullest.


  • Sylvia Ternes

    Reply Reply March 11, 2016

    Hi Summer!
    I too think you are brave. You are ready for adventure and so off you will go to see, experience and enjoy more of this beautiful planet Earth. The strength you will gain (I’m guessing 🙂 will be un-measurable. Being you and and Jeff are all in I wish you all the best, Summer.

    Again i am guessing but no mater what, we all have good and bad days. So on bad days you will lean in and do it. As always. Look how far you have come.

    • Summer Brackhan

      Reply Reply March 31, 2016

      Thanks Sylvia for sending such wonderful good vibes and encouragement! I love the idea of leaning in on the “bad”days, by doing this, it turns it into a good day. I am very excited to see how much we will grow from this experience. 🙂

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